Judge Broderick Denies Motion to Dismiss in Virtual Manicure Case
On July 18, 2018, United States District Judge Vernon S. Broderick (S.D.N.Y.) denied a motion by defendant Coty Inc. (“Coty”) to dismiss a patent infringement suit brought by plaintiff Lennon Image Technologies, LLC (“Lennon”).
Lennon owns U.S. Patent No. 6,624,843 (the “‘843 Patent”), which is directed to a way of allowing retailers to “virtually ‘dress’ the potential customer in featured merchandise as a virtual ‘fitting’” by capturing and storing the customer’s image and certain biometric data to create a composite image of the customer “wearing” the item for sale. Lennon initiated this infringement action on July 13, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, and the case was transferred to Judge Broderick. In its complaint, Lennon alleges that Coty’s “ManiMatch App” infringes the ‘843 Patent by capturing an image of a customer’s hand and allowing the customer to “try on” different nail and manicure products by presenting a composite image of the customer’s hand and the various products.
Coty moved to dismiss the complaint, first arguing that the ManiMatch App does not determine, compare, or use biometric information, as required by the ‘843 Patent’s asserted claim. Judge Broderick rejected this argument, finding that Lennon had plausibly alleged that ManiMatch App infringed the ‘843 Patent because the ManiMatch App allegedly “uses an algorithm to map the hand that tracks the individual nuances of the user’s hand and finds the nail bed.” The court also rejected Coty’s argument that the ManiMatch App does not store a customer’s image because it creates and presents a composite image in real time: “the fact that the ManiMatch App works in real time does not negate or make implausible that the application stores a customer image and uses this image to create a composite image displaying the selected nail polish or nail color.”
Case: Lennon Image Techs., LLC v. Coty Inc., 17-CV-9146 (VSB), Dkt. No. 72 (July 18, 2018).